In spite of some drastic cuts in resources allocated for fall sports at Enterprise High School this year athletes turned in some stellar performances.
That was the theme that came through again and again last week as coaches, athletes, and fans reflected upon the accomplishments of the EHS cross-country, volleyball, cheerleading, and football teams last week during the school's annual fall sports banquet.
"No funding was definitely a low for us," said Enterprise cross-country coach Dan Moody, whose program was eliminated from the school budget last spring.
Nevertheless, Moody's boys went on to capture second place in the state championship meet, and two of his girls received individual honors.
Moody, who was not paid to coach this year, noted that an extra burden on his players this year was going out and raising $4,300 for the golf and cross country programs by selling advertising on a school calendar.
"This was definitely a community effort," he said, thanking businesses who supported the calendar project. "To be hit up (for money) again and again takes a tremendous effort."
Enterprise athletic director Mike Crawford said that the fund raising effort saved the golf and cross-country programs.
"This shows you that some of the teachers up here are not in it for the money," he added, referring to the fact that Moody volunteered his time with the team.
Cheerleader advisor Teah Jones talked about how local businesses had contributed money to help her girls pay for uniforms. Cheerleading was another program cut from the school budget, and the girls went out and raised $2,000 to keep it alive. Football coach Randy Morgan added that volunteers were responsible for painting the facilities and generally cleaning up around Bill Ortman football field.
"A lot of people scraped and painted and cleaned up," said Morgan.
Moody handed out awards to several members of his team, saying that "running is a tough sport."
"We are few but mighty," said Moody, who has guided teams to the state championship meet consistently for the past decade.
Moody presented individual awards to two of his girls. Whitney Locke was named as most improved runner while Julie Vernarsky was recognized as most valuable runner. He recognized Chris Lozier and Andrew Gorbett as the two most improved runners on the boys team, Austin Himes as the most valuable runner, and Himes and Willie Grover as "most inspirational."
The cross-country coach expressed optimism about next year's prospects, noting that sophomores Michael Swart and Andrew Gorbett won't be leaving the team as previously thought, and, barring any injuries, the entire girls' team will be back. The girls team ran without their number one runner, Linnaea Kibler, this year after Kibler was injured in a fall at Wallowa Lake. Kibler is a junior this year and will likely be back in 2003 to lead the EHS girls, according to Moody.
The Enterprise volleyball team had a challenging season this year, according to coach Tammy Crawford.
Nevertheless there were many high points, including winning their last two matches in three straight games.
"Beyond the winning and the losing this is a team that has all the elements of a great team," said Crawford.
Crawford also praised her junior varsity players, noting that they amassed an 8-1 won-lost record. She dubbed them Their only loss was to Grant Union.
"I can hardly wait until next year," Crawford said.
Crawford and assistant coach Kathy Schaefer handed out miniature volleyballs to their players as recognition for their contributions to the team: Shana Beck for attitude, Chandy Courtney for heart, Valerie Davis for intelligence, Ashley Kassahn for desire, Amy Pace for versatility, Tera Phinney for hustle, Maya Waldron for accuracy, Aki Kawasaki for power and co-most valuable player, Jennifer McCready for determination, Kallie Hadden for most improvement, Chelcee Noland for inspiration, and Jessie Morgan, co-most valuable player.
Athletic director Mike Crawford introduced cheerleading as an athletic event, saying, "When you see what these girls do you realize they're athletes."
Advisor Teah Evans added that the girls are also very good students, with a team cumulative grade point average of 3.8 - one of the highest, if not the highest, in the state.
"These girls are as nice as they are intelligent," said Evans.
Three members of the squad were recognized for individual awards. Shala McCarthy was named Most Improved Cheerleader. Jacinda Mitchell received the Outstanding School Spirit award. Leslie Tweedy was named as Most Valuable Cheerleader.
Football coach Randy Morgan characterized his team's 2002 campaign as "a tale of two seasons."
"We had a great win over Mac-Hi, then we fell on hard times and lost a few games," said Morgan.
The season ended on a positive note, however, as the Red and Black defeated their last three opponents, including cross-country rival Joseph.
"You all know a win over Joseph is a good thing," Morgan joked.
The accolades for the football team included the announcement that Enterprise posted a 3.19 cumulative grade point average - 10th best in the state.
Morgan recognized six individuals for special awards, including Nathan Slinker for most improved player, Steven Immoos for outstanding defensive lineman, Kelsey Lukens for outstanding offensive lineman, Isaac Gerner for outstanding offensive player, and Grady Rawls for most inspirational player. Jimmy Van Belle received two awards - the Most Valuable Player award and the Eddy Nobles "Mental Toughness" Outstanding Defensive Player award.